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Ethan Rose
09.08.08 at the Works
Time-Based Arts Festival
Photo by Wayne Bund
All Rights Reserved, 2008
Ethan Rose is like a tinkerer in a musical toyshop, playing with each instrument before moving on to the next one, listening closely to the sounds and textures each element adds. Recording piano, flute, tambourine, snapping fingers, his own breath, and assorted other instruments, many of them obscure, then looping them through a machine, Rose creates playful music that shifts from one atmospheric thread to the next. Always attentive to transitions, Rose builds rhythmic or melodious connections between each theme, not so much changing songs as developing a new mood or taking a previous phrase and augmenting it. His music is often ambient and yet filled with surprising sounds (a click, a chirp). These disparate sounds and spaces come together under Rose’s masterful hands and ears, the work of a conscientious, curious, and inspiring talent.
What better group to follow this fellow traveler than Au? Au is a rocking indie group fronted by the talented and gregarious Luke Wyland. Moving easily between various influences, from the blues to classic rock to pop standards of yesteryear, Au displays phenomenal energy. Wyland seems to be smiling during every song and through every lyric. A four-woman choir joins them onstage, singing music that is both reminiscent of 1940s pop and modern indie rock. Parenthetical Girls joins them later, adding a dozen vocalists in face paint, joyously singing along. At times riotous or dirge-like, marching like Sousa with Krupa at the kit or screeching discordantly in a maelstrom of noise rock, singing sweetly like the Andrews sisters or cheerily clapping along to a standard 4/4 beat, Au captivates and entertains. Au’s performance and their music is solid gold.
Posted by Dusty Hoesly